Longitudinal follow-up of patients with traumatic brain injury: outcome at two, five, and ten years post-injury

Jennie Louise Ponsford, Marina Giuseppina Downing, John Olver, Michael Ponsford, Rose Acher, Meagan Carty, Gershon Spitz

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235 Citations (Scopus)


The deleterious consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI) impair capacity to return to many avenues of pre-morbid life. However, there has been limited longitudinal research examining outcome beyond five years post-injury. The aim of this study was to examine aspects of function, previously shown to be affected following TBI, over a span of 10 years. One hundred and forty one patients with TBI were assessed at two, five, and 10 years post-injury using the Structured Outcome Questionnaire. Fatigue and balance problems were the most common neurological symptoms, with reported rates decreasing only slightly during the 10-year period. Mobility outcomes were good in more than 75 of patients, with few participants requiring aids for mobility. Changes in cognitive, communication, behavioral, and emotional functions were reported by approximately 60 of the sample at all time points. Levels of independence in activities of daily living were high during the 10-year period, and as many as 70 of subjects returned to driving. Nevertheless, approximately 40 of patients required more support than before their injury. Only half the sample returned to previous leisure activities and fewer than half were employed at each assessment time post-injury. Although marital status remained stable over time, approximately 30 of participants reported difficulties in personal relationships. Older age at injury did not substantially alter the pattern of changes over time, except in employment. Overall, problems that were evident at two years post-injury persisted until 10 years post-injury. The importance of these findings is discussed with reference to rehabilitation programs
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64 - 77
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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